Doing good while having fun: can your Christmas party be ethical?

Christmas has somehow snuck up on us again this year, and I’m sure your plans for festive celebrations are already in full swing. However, it’s important to remember that ethical business extends beyond your team volunteering days and into every aspect of how you run your company. It’s possible to put some ethical considerations in place that won’t take away from the fun, but will still let your employees know that you’re serious about doing good – even when it comes to social events.

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Here are our suggestions for how to keep the true spirit of Christmas in your festivities:

1. Order your party supplies from an eco-friendly provider

A party usually ends with a whole mountain of plates, cups, and cutlery ready to be thrown away, which is a big thumbs-down for the environment. If you choose a supplier that has done all the hard work and sourced sustainable materials, you can relax knowing that you’ve minimised your environmental impact as much as possible while still providing everything your guests will need to enjoy themselves.

Why not try Little Cherry for pretty but sustainable options?

2. Choose a social enterprise to cater your event

Every year more and more social enterprises are popping up in every industry, and food is a big focus. When there are so many caterers out there who can provide delicious food at a reasonable price, why not go for one that will use their profits to help an important social or environmental cause?! It’s a no-brainer really.

There are some fabulous options all around the UK. Why not check out Good Mood Food in Manchester to support mental health services, MILK in Glasgow to help empower refugee women, or Unity Kitchen in London to help fund apprenticeships for people with disabilities?

3. Go for a veggie or vegan menu

Meat production is gradually becoming more and more linked with some major problems facing the world today – from global warming to world hunger. (Check out Cowspiracy and Food, Inc. if you still need convincing.) Cutting back our meat and dairy consumption is a great way to do a little bit of good for the planet. As an increasing number of people are looking for plant-based alternatives, the vegan food available to us is getting delicious! It’s no longer a case of being stuck with some chips while everyone else tucks into a delicious meal. You could consider choosing veggie options from a regular caterer, or even look into an all vegan option. It’ll still be delicious, and your environmental impact will be almost non-existent!

Why not try Vood Bar for some plant-based delights?

4. Change the world by getting drunk

Obviously, no Christmas party is complete with plenty of booze., but you can even turn alcohol into an opportunity to make a difference! There are a few social enterprises starting to appear in the wine industry, and it’s the perfect time to show your support so this trend can continue.

Why not try Vin2O who use all their profits to support clean water projects?

5. Pick a restaurant with a purpose

Similar to the catering options above, the social enterprise scene in the food and hospitality industries is going strong. There are plenty of ethical options out there, so have a look around and pick somewhere delicious and impactful.

Why not try The Clink for 5* food in London, Cardiff, Surrey, and Manchester that helps to reduce re-offending rates?

6. Look into charities with unusual spaces to hire

As government funding has begun to dry up, charities have got more and more creative with ways to keep themselves afloat. Plenty of organisations have great spaces that they use to support their beneficiaries and have been making extra money by hiring them out as event venues. Have a look into some options in your local area and help support a cause your employees care about as well as putting on a party that’s a bit different than usual.

Westminster Boating Base is a great example for river-side views in London.


These are just a few options to get you started – there are plenty of other ways to help society and the environment while keeping your employees happy with a great celebration. Do some research on options local to your business, brief the team responsible for planning the event on the importance of minimising waste and maximising social impact with every decision, and feel free to get in touch if you need any advice! Enjoy the festivities!

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For more information about social enteprises, check out Social Enterprise UK. If you are looking for solutions to make doing good more straightforward, please get in touch with us on info@thirdbridge.co.uk. 

Getting started with impact measurement

Impact measurement is a huge topic which can easily get quite overwhelming if you’re not careful. The bad news is that there’s no simple solution… But don’t worry, because the great news is that there are plenty of small ways to get started and still find some real value, and we’re here to help you take those first steps!

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Objectives – what are you trying to achieve?

Start with the objectives for your projects. This is such a vital stage that is so often over-looked. How can you tell whether your work has been successful or not if you don’t know what you were trying to achieve?! We recommend coming up with at least two objectives for each project– one focused on the social or environmental impact you wish to have, and one focused on the business impact you are looking for.

Here are some examples of focus areas for your objectives to get you started:

Your business 

  • Brand awareness – more customers knowing about your business
  • HR benefits – improving your ability to hire, retain, motivate, and develop employees
  • Operations – your business running more efficiently, including waste reduction
  • Reputation or stakeholder relations – improving your reputation with your customer base and therefore standing out against competition
  • Supply chain – improving efficiency within your supply chain

Your employee volunteers

  • Behaviour – encouraging employees to change a behaviour, for example recycling more, volunteering in their own time, or becoming a brand ambassador for your company or for a charity partner
  • Personal impact – supporting personal change in an employee, for example feeling prouder of their company, improving their self-confidence, or becoming more motivated at work
  • Skills – developing employees’ skills.

The environment

  • Ecology or direct environmental impact – a direct improvement as a result of your work, for example planting trees, or cleaning up a beach
  • Human behaviour – on-going impacts because of your behaviour as a company, for example recycling, turning off lights, or printing double-sided

Charities, social enterprises, or community organisations

  • Capacity building – helping a charity to become more efficient and self-sustaining, through skilled volunteering or donations
  • Leverage – helping a charity by supporting them to gain more exposure, raise awareness of a cause, lobby, or access other support

Beneficiaries of your community partners

  • Behaviour or attitude change – changing the way beneficiaries of a charity behave, for example reducing anti-social behaviour, or working harder at school
  • Quality of life – improving the quality of life of beneficiaries of a charity, for example improving their confidence, improving their ability to integrate with their community, or improving their health
  • Skills and personal development – improving the skills and development of the beneficiaries of a charity, for example tutoring them to help them gain a qualification, helping them to improve their literacy levels, or mentoring them in preparation for a job interview

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Inputs – how much are you investing?

Next, ensure you are accurately tracking your inputs so you know exactly what you’ve invested in your activities. If you don’t know these figures, then there’s no way to work out a Return on Investment (ROI). It’s also a nice way to get some headline stats to promote your work. Inputs can include donations of money, donations of items, employees that have volunteered, hours volunteered, the value of that time, money raised through fundraising activities, overheads of staff time or external software used, etc.

Outputs – what activities are you doing?

The next step is to record the activities you are doing to achieve your objectives. These are the things that you actually do during a project. This could include holding workshops, providing mentoring sessions, planting trees, incorporating social enterprises into your supply chain, running campaigns, donating money – anything that is measurable. There are likely to be multiple outputs for each objective. Try and come up with some target numbers and keep track of progress as you go along, so you have time to adjust your efforts before the end of the project if necessary.


I think it’s realistic for everyone to get at least this far – no matter what stage you’re at on your journey to doing good. Even if you stop here, that’s a great start and gives you some very useful information, as well as a great baseline to keep improving in the future.

Outcomes and impacts – did you achieve your objectives?

To take things to the next level, you need to start thinking about outcomes and impacts. These are the changes that happen as a result of the outputs of your projects, and help you ascertain if you achieved your stated objectives.

Outcomes occur immediately after the delivery and are seen as the direct changes that your activity (the outputs) have had.  Impacts are the wider and longer-term effects of a project that can go beyond the direct beneficiaries of your project. These are harder to track and measure. For example, if an outcome of your project was improved literacy skills of a group of students, this could lead to those students going on to get jobs that they wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise and, therefore, a reduction in the reliance of state benefits.

These can be measured and reported on throughout your project, based on evidence that you have gathered (e.g. from feedback, surveys, follow up work, etc.).  At the start of a project you can identify the indicators you will use to evaluate your outcomes and impacts, although you should always leave room to capture unexpected outcomes (sometimes these can be negative as well a positive).

It’s really useful to have some supporting evidence to back up these claims. A good place to start with this are surveys to gather feedback from employee volunteers, charity partners, and the beneficiaries of those charities that benefited from your projects.

Here are some ideas of things that might be useful to ask to help you prove your impact:

For employee volunteers

  • General professional skills – has volunteering helped them to improve their skills around team-working, communication, negotiating, or problem solving?
  • Management skills – has volunteering helped them to develop their skills around leadership, strategy and planning, or line management?
  • Personal development – has volunteering helped them to improve their self-confidence, sense of well-being, or empathy for other people?
  • Morale – has volunteering helped them to improve their job satisfaction, commitment to the company, or motivation?

For charity partners

  • Did they achieve their objectives for this project?
  • Did your employee volunteers contribute towards achieving those objectibes?
  • Did your employee volunteers help outside of those objectives as well?
  • Would they be keen to work with you again?

For beneficiaries

It’s best to work with your charity partners to work out what questions you would like to ask here, then they will be able to reach out on your behalf to ensure that you are compliant with data protection regulation. They also have existing relationship, so it will be much more likely that they will respond.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will help a few of you to take those first steps on the road to impact measurement. Even doing a small amount of this is important and will be really helpful for you, your company, and your charity partners. Don’t feel disheartened if you’re not ready to tackle the whole lot yet – there’s plenty of time and every little helps!

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If you would like to hear about how thirdbridge’s impact reporting software can help to make this process much easier, please contact us on info@thirdbridge.co.uk. 

Remaining impactful while volunteering outdoors with your team

I’m the first to admit that England is not a tropical paradise. However, the British people are famously resilient. The slightest glimpse of a ray of sunshine and we’re sprawled on the grass, Pimm’s in hand. For those of us lucky enough to work for a company that gives us time off to volunteer, it’s obviously very tempting to make the most of the weather by volunteering outdoors. There’s certainly no problem with that in theory, but it’s important to keep in mind that outdoorsy, group-style volunteering activities are really in demand with employers and employees alike. Often, they are resource- and time-intensive for the charity to organise, and, sometimes, they don’t really have a huge impact. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it though. Just make sure you keep a few things in mind when picking your opportunity:

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1. It might come with a cost

Hosting a large group of volunteers takes a lot of time to organise and requires a lot of supervision on the day. Charity workers are extremely stretched as it is, and staff time obviously has a cost that needs to be considered. Furthermore, outdoorsy activities are often quite resource-heavy – gardening tools, equipment, paint, seeds, etc. This obviously also has a cost that needs to be covered. You can ask your company to help, pay it out of your own pocket, or raise the money with a bake sale or other fundraising activity.

2. Be upfront about whether you or your company might be able to support them with other things as well

If there isn’t a cost, it might be because the charity is hoping to engage you, your colleagues, or your company longer-term. Be honest about whether this is a possibility or not – it doesn’t have to be a guarantee! There are plenty of ways this could work. Is your company looking for a new partner? Might your colleagues want to do a sponsored run for them? Do they need skills that your company could provide pro bono? Would you be interested in volunteering with them in your free time? If not, be up front about it – they’ll probably still appreciate the one-off help.

3. Make sure they actually need this help

Check that the activity you’ll be doing is actually going to make a difference to the charity. Sometimes charities will allow volunteers to take part in ‘fun’ activities so they’re enthusiastic and more likely to encourage their colleagues or companies to work with them in the future. If you’re not sure that will happen, make sure the activity is actually going to be useful for the charity.

4. Use your skills

If you’re known for killing every houseplant you’ve ever had, then perhaps helping out at a community garden isn’t the best use of your time. Think about what you’re good at and try to find an activity that suits you – you’ll enjoy it more and it will have more of an impact.

5. Enjoy yourself but take it seriously

Volunteering outdoors in the summer with a group of colleagues is a really fun, but make sure you actually got the job done. Also, make the most of being there – take the time to talk to staff from the charity and find out about their work, get to know beneficiaries if they’re there as well, and engage with the issue they’re trying to solve.


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There are plenty of great charities in genuine need of groups of volunteers for outdoors activities. Here are a few that we’ve come across recently:

The Wimbledon Guild

Groups of up to 10 people are welcome in The Wimbledon Guild‘s community garden in Wimbledon. There are plenty of tasks to get stuck into, including building raised beds, weeding, composting, and generally keeping the garden looking neat and pretty.

SweetTree Farming for All

Team-building days can be spent at SweetTree Farming for All‘s farm in Mill Hill. Tasks include building a shed together, clearing brambles from woodland areas, digging out a pond area, or planting new plants in growth beds.

Deen City Farm

Groups of up to 20 can head down to Wimbledon to help Deen City Farm and Stables continue with their activities. There are tasks all year round, including fencing, building, painting, gardening, woodwork, and mending.

Friends of Bradford’s Becks

In the springtime, your group would be able to help the Friends of Bradford’s Becks with keeping the waterways of the area clean and free from litter.

Sedbergh Youth and Community Centre

Sedbergh Youth and Community Centre are struggling with an overgrown, untidy outdoor cycle track and woodland walk. They need clearing so the centre can carry on with their summer activity schemes. Their outdoor activity equipment also needs painting and staining.


If you would like any help with finding suitable volunteering opportunities for your team, please get in touch on info@thirdbridge.co.uk.

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Post by Rose Delfino, Community Development & Marketing Manager at thirdbridge

Timewasters need not apply

Collaboration is rarely easy, and working cross-sector is even more complicated. Traditionally, partnerships between companies and charities have been characterised by the private sector organisation as the dominant party. Often these are not relationships of equals, in which both party’s needs, boundaries, and aspirations are taken into consideration. A healthy relationship would be one where both sides give and take, teach and learn, and grow together.

We want to make sure that no charity feels like they’ll lose out on support by being assertive, so here’s a few things we think that companies should keep in mind when asking charities for volunteering opportunities.

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The charity you’re working with probably doesn’t revolve around you

While you may be a significant part of their day-to-day or their strategy going forward, they definitely have lots of other things going on too. That’s why it’s not going to do them any favours if you get in touch with a week’s notice asking to have 25 volunteers accommodated. Remember that it takes a lot of work for a charity to set up volunteering activities and they need enough notice so that their other workstreams aren’t compromised.

Charities are always evolving and their needs may not always be the same

Just because they needed some physical labour in their garden last year, it doesn’t mean that will still be a helpful thing for them now. Of course, it’s important that your employees are undertaking a type of volunteering that is engaging for them, but it’s also important that it’s something useful for the charity. Most volunteers can tell if they are there as part of a tick-box exercise anyway and would prefer to do something a bit different but feel like they are making a real impact. Speak to your contacts at the charity and speak to your employees – I can almost guarantee there will be some cross-over in their wants and needs.

Volunteering sometimes has a cost and it’s usually justifiable

Certain volunteering activities are expensive for charities – particularly hosting large groups, providing activities that require a lot of resources, or facilitating participation in sports-based fundraising events. It’s hard enough for most charities to make ends meet as it is without covering these costs as well. Sometimes they will ask you for a small financial contribution to cover the costs. This doesn’t necessarily need to be in the form of a company donation – individual employees can cover their part, or they can fundraise to make the money. They’re putting a lot of work in for you and the engagement you’ll get from your employees as a result is more than worth it.

Charities also have a lot to give

It’s seems to be very easy to forget that charities are full of passionate, committed, educated, experienced people. Yes, charities often need your expertise to make sure their operations are as efficient as possible. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t experts as well. They have a deep understanding of the demographics and communities that they work with every day – communities and people that could be your customers or future employees. They’re often extremely adept at engaging their stakeholders. They also certainly know how to make a big impact on a tiny budget – I’m sure all of us could benefit from that skill! You don’t just have a cause to support, you have a partner who can make you better as a person and as a business.

The onus is on both sides to make the relationship as productive as possible

There are so many fabulous and innovative ways for companies and charities to work together. Here are some of our favourite examples:

PetRescue Australia & Pedigree

Macmillan Cancer Support & Boots

Save the Children & GSK

Great relationships like these don’t just spring up naturally, and they are rarely driven by one side only. Collaboration usually breeds the most exciting ideas. Work together as colleagues. Not as a benefactor and recipient, but as two equals who are passionate about social and environmental change and have complimentary experiences that can be combined to make a real difference. Think about skilled volunteering projects where staff from each side have teaching or mentoring roles, developing a product to sell together, an unusual cause marketing campaign, running an event together – the world is your oyster.

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From conversations we’ve had with parties from both sides of the coin, it looks like things are already starting to move in this direction. Charities are becoming more confident about what they have to offer, and companies are learning to treat charities as valuable partners rather than grateful recipients of their philanthropy. We’re looking forward to hearing more and more examples of relationships that are genuine partnerships working towards solving the most important social and environmental issues we all face.


If you would like any more information about how thirdbridge can help you find new charity or company partners, please contact Rose on rose@thirdbridge.co.uk.rosedelfino_bw

 

Post by Rose Delfino, Community Development & Marketing Manager

Putting together your first employee volunteering policy

If you’re serious about stepping up your commitment to doing good, you’ve got to get your ducks in a row. Things can get complicated quickly when you’re dealing with so many stakeholders all at once. You need to be clear about how you want to work with external partners, such as charities, social enterprises, community groups, schools, brokers, and CSR consultants. You also need to make sure you’re satisfying senior managers and investors in your company who will be very focused on return on investment. In all the confusion, it’s easy to forget arguably the most important group of stakeholders – your employees. Without their involvement and engagement, external stakeholders will get much less impact from your support, and your company will miss out on all the benefits of involving your employees in your responsible activities – increased productivity, better retention, cost effective L&D, etc. However, before you can get them involved and excited, you need to make sure everyone is clear about the details by putting together an official policy. This will make your job easier but also cover your back in case of any issues.

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Here are our top tips on what to include:

1. Why employee volunteering?

Make it clear why you’re encouraging employee volunteering, and explain the decisions you’ve made while putting the programme together. This will make employees feel involved and hopefully allow them to buy in to your vision.

2. What is employee volunteering?

Provide a clear definition of what you mean by employee volunteering to make sure everyone’s on the same page!

3. Who can employees volunteer with?

Will you allow employees to volunteer with any organisation they choose or will you put restrictions on it? Do the organisations they choose need to fit in with your over-arching objectives around cause or location? Do they need to be UK registered charities? Can the charities have a religious or political aim?

4. What type of volunteering can they do?

Does it include fundraising? Is it only volunteering done during working hours? Should employees volunteer in groups? Is skilled volunteering particularly encouraged?

5. How long can they volunteer for?

How many hours per year can employees spend volunteering during working hours? Do they need to be taken as whole or half days, or can they be split up into individual hours?

6. What about volunteering in their own time?

Should they still log those hours? Would TOIL be considered for volunteering outside of working hours? If so, would that only be for certain types of volunteering?

7. When can they volunteer?

Do they need to have been in post for a certain amount of time? Are there any restrictions on certain times of the year / month / day? Does this vary from team to team? Can more than one member of a team be out at the same time?

8. How can it help career development?

Will volunteering be linked to performance appraisals or L&D goals? Could future leaders be matched with trustee opportunities to help them gain experience?

9. How do employees identify and find volunteering opportunities? Do you use internal or external tools?

Do you use any tools to help them find opportunities? Do you have company-led initiatives for them to get involved with? If so, how can they find out about those?

10. What is the authorisation process?

Will there be a formal process or can employees just ask their line manager on an ad hoc basis?

11. Will you provide additional support to their chosen organisations?

Would you match any donations they make or funds they raise? Are there any grants they can apply for? Are there any formal channels for them to suggest their chosen organisation to other colleagues who may want to volunteer with them?

12. How will expenses work?

Will you reimburse them? If a DBS check is required, will you cover the cost?

13. What about insurance?

Do you have insurance that will cover them or do they need to provide their own? Do the organisations they choose to volunteer with need to have public liability insurance? If so, whose responsibility is it to check if that is in place?

14. What is the feedback process?

Where will they record hours? Where and when will they provide feedback? Will it be anonymous?


There are certainly other things you may need to consider for your particular organisational needs, but we think that covering all of these points would be a great start! Once you have these details in place, you can relax and start focusing on the more exciting stuff – engaging your employees, building new partnerships, and enjoying all the impact you’re having!


If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we could help with your employee volunteering programme, then please do not hesitate to be in touch: rose@thirdbridge.co.uk

What’s so great about volunteering?

Volunteering rarely gets the credit it deserves. It’s a hugely powerful force for good in so many ways – it helps keep the third sector afloat, it benefits the individual volunteer, it’s a lifeline for our public services, and corporate volunteering improves a company’s profits.

Here are just some of the ways volunteering makes our world a better place:


How can you benefit?

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Feeling good

Volunteering can make us feel good for many reasons. Recognition, gratitude, validation that you’re a ‘good person’, satisfaction at the impact you’ve had – the list goes on. But it’s more than just feelings, it’s science! The act of volunteering has a similar effect on our brains as exercise and sex. Cortisol is blocked which stops us feeling stressed, oxytocin is released which encourages bonding, and endorphins and dopamine are produced making us feel happy. 1

Improving your CV

Volunteering is a great way to improve your professional skills. Taking the lead on a project allows you to practice management in a low risk setting, improving your leadership and people skills and preparing you for future promotions. However, it’s through skilled volunteering, particularly pro bono, that the real benefits come to light. In fact, 91% of Fortune 500 HR Managers said that skilled volunteering improves business and leadership skills. 2 By using your professional skills in a novel setting, you’re able to get a whole new perspective on your day job. A consultant, for example, that is used to providing solutions to clients that involve a great deal of expense, manpower, or resources would be forced to consider the problems in a totally different way – a way of thinking that they can take back to their normal work.


How can society benefit?

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Keeping the third sector alive

The charitable sector in the UK does far more work than we often realise. Services one might reasonably assume are covered by the government are actually provided by charities – air ambulances, hospices, many mental health services, support for carers, and the list goes on. 80,000 charities get by on less than £10,000 per year which I think is pretty shocking (and amazing). 3 Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, a fifth of small and medium charities face closure in the next 12 months due to funding, skills, and resource gaps. 4 The sector struggles to keep afloat even with the many committed volunteers it relies on. In 2015/16, 14.2 million people volunteered at least once a month, and the value of volunteering was estimated to be £22.6bn. It doesn’t bear thinking about what would happen to the sector without that incredible amount of generous support from volunteers, but the amount and quality of services provided would certainly be jeopardised.

Supporting public services

In recent years, political decisions around austerity have carved into our public services making it impossible for them to continue functioning without the support of volunteers. There are around 20,000 special constables who support the police force on a voluntary basis, doing almost the exact same work. And that’s to say nothing of the hospitals, libraries, and parks that would grind to a halt without their volunteers. 6

Improving human empathy

I know this sounds like a big statement, but bear with me! Humans are naturally inclined to empathise and it’s played a big role in how we’ve survived and thrived as a species. Darwin talks about this altruism in his writing about evolution. Essentially, if we didn’t care about those around us then we would find it harder to survive and pass on our DNA. Allowing a member of your immediate community to succumb to injuries means less protection for you, and leaving your children to fend for themselves means they are less likely to live long enough to pass your genes on. However, our empathetic tendencies are almost solely reserved to people we consider to be part of our in-group. The only way for us to expand this inclusive group is by sharing meaningful experiences with people we wouldn’t usually spend time with. Volunteering is a perfect way to do this – it’s often a new experience for both parties, both sides can learn from each other, it’s usually a meaningful activity, and it’s a non-threatening space to get to know a new group of people. In the right circumstances, we can leave a volunteering experience as a fundamentally changed person whose world views and perceptions of people traditionally seen as ‘other’ have shifted for the better. 7


How can business benefit?

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Recruiting and retaining the best talent

Millennials care about social good and are starting to make choices about their careers based on this. In fact, 88% of millennials say they want to work for a socially responsible company. Providing a robust employee volunteering programme, allowing them plenty of time during working hours to give back, providing matched donations, and presenting them with plenty of varied options to get involved with will set you apart from the competition and ensure you have your pick of young talent. However, you’ve still got to practice what you preach to ensure you retain the talent you’ve invested in. 50+% of millennials would consider leaving an employer whose values no longer matched their own. 9 Make sure it’s not just a policy that sits in a binder somewhere – it should be a part of your company culture. Senior staff should set the example that’s it not frowned upon to take the time to volunteer but actually encouraged. People can easily see through false promises of being responsible – don’t fall into that trap.

Increasing employee motivation

Believing that we’re part of something good is really important to humans. I feel proud every day to be working for a company whose main focus is making the world a better place. That’s what motivates me to keep working hard even when I’m tired or ill or just in a bad mood. The same goes for companies and their CSR programmes. In fact, 66% of employees report a greater commitment to their company after volunteering 10, and 94% of companies surveyed believed that employee volunteering provides a way to raise employee morale. 11 With motivation comes increased productivity which means more money for the company. Skilled volunteering also provides learning and development opportunities at a cheaper price than normal training. In fact, it costs £19 less per employee to develop skills through volunteering than traditional training. 12 Committing to a decent budget for CSR can lead to savings in the long-term.


So I think it’s safe to say that volunteering is certainly something to be celebrated. The individuals who give up their time, the companies who encourage their staff to give back, and the third sector organisations who provide meaningful opportunities for people to take part in should all be so proud of what they do. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without volunteers, and hopefully I’ll never have to.


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Post by Rosalia Delfino, Community Development & Marketing Manager 

For more information about how thirdbridge could help you set up and manage an employee volunteering programme, contact Rose on rose@thirdbridge.co.uk. 


1 Source: Realized Worth
2 Source: Deloitte
3 Source: NCVO
4 Source: Centre for Social Justice
5 Source: NCVO
6 Source: The Guardian
7 Source: Realized Worth
8 Source: Deloitte
9 Source: PwC
10 Source: Corporate Citizenship & City of London
11 Source: Corporate Citizenship & City of London
12 Source: Corporate Citizenship

How to survive the apocalypse

2016 got a lot of bad press. Everyone was relieved to see the back of it. But now we’re in 2017 and the reality is setting in. Trump has taken the reigns. Brexit is taking shape. It’s a whole new world and we have to face it without Leonard Cohen and David Bowie.

The world is swinging further and further to the right. The political left in the UK is in disarray as a contentious leader struggles to take control. Meanwhile, UKIP select a leader straight from the Labour heartlands.

Social and environmental progress is truly in danger. Rex Tillerson’s prominent position in Trump’s regime threatens less focus on renewables. Closer to home, our beloved health service is suffering an alleged ‘humanitarian crisis’. Amber Rudd’s infamous speech about companies compiling lists of foreign workers is now being considered a ‘hate incident’ by police. Things are getting serious.

It would be easy to put our heads in the sand and just let it wash over us. But what would that achieve? Did Martin Luther King Jr. just accept the status quo? Did the suffragettes just moan over a G&T to their mates? The great opportunity of these troubling times is the hope that people will come together and rise up against it.

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thirdbridge exists to tackle the social and environmental problems that our world faces. In my opinion, these political developments will only increase the need for a service like ours. Charities will have more demand, and companies will have even more of an onus to behave responsibly and address the growing need for their input.

So what can you do as an individual?

If you’ve thought about volunteering but have never got round to it, then now is the time. Pick a cause that you care about, find a charity doing impactful work to tackle it, and give them a call to see if they need help.  Volunteering is a great way to use your time and skills to make a positive difference, and it can improve your confidence and develop your skills too. Struggling to find a volunteer opportunity? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you.

Concerned about your environmental impact? Commit to making three days a week meat-free.

Are you a runner? Why not make your next race sponsored? Or check out the Good Gym to do good deeds on your next run.

Do you work for a company that already does good stuff? Get involved in their initiatives and promote them to your colleagues. Let your employer know about thirdbridge – we can help them get even better at doing good.

Not sure your company is as ethical as it could be? Put some pressure on them. Employees have a voice and you can use yours to shape your company’s social policies. Gather a group of like-minded colleagues and put your case forward. We can help – just reach out to us for support.

We may just be individuals, but together we can make a huge difference. Join us – let’s do this together.

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Blog written by Rose Delfino, Community Development and Marketing Manager, thirdbridge

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